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The How-To Lounge: Writing a Complaint Letter

A few weeks ago I gave you some tips on how to write a thank you note, but unfortunately, sometimes you're not so thankful. If you have ever been over charged on your credit card, your florist sent your delivery to the wrong address, or have flown half way across the country just to get home you have probably wanted to vent your frustration to that company's manager, so I am back to give you tips on how to write a complaint letter.

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  • Since you are writing a complaint letter, you're sure to be fired up about something but remember to stay calm. You have a better chance of getting what you want when you are calm and collected
  • If you have already spoken to a customer service agent, remember to always ask for the person's name in case you need to take additional measures
  • If you have a complaint that has not already been verbally addressed, be sure to send your letter to the appropriate person. Obviously the higher rank of your contact, the faster your concern will be addressed
  • Make the first part of your letter as positive as possible. No one responds well to rudeness
  • Cut straight to the point. If your letter is too long, chances are it won't be read. Keep it short and precise
  • Let the recipient of your letter know how their mistake or failure has affected you (for example - time, money, etc.) and what you wish to accomplish by sending the letter (for example - a refund, apology, etc.)
  • No matter what your concern, provide as much documentation as possible, but remember to always make duplicate copies for your records
  • The tone of your letter will directly affect the way they handle your complaint, so remember to sign it with a "thank you for your time"

While I certainly hope you don't need to use these tips often, they do come in handy from time to time, so I hope they help if need be.


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